Unsolved Murders

Junior George Collins

Age: 40

Sex: male

Date: 29 Sep 1999

Place: Kennington, Southeast London

Source: www.courtnewsuk.co.uk

Junior George Collins was shot through the door of a Rastafarian Tabernacle during a fire fight. Several people were tried but no one was found guilty.

Junior Collins had gone to the Tabernacle to discuss a music project with a temple elder. He had been visiting from Jamaica at the time. The former president from the Ethiopian World Federation, a religious group, had also been visiting at the time.

The court heard that in the previous weeks four men who were said to have been Yardies, had been attending the temple but had been causing trouble and dealing drugs. After the temple elders and members of the community became upset about it a meeting was held at the temple by the elders to discuss it. The four men were invited to attend but didn't turn up. It was heard that the elders had been furious that they were dealing drugs and of how they had been heard talking about guns.

On the day of the murder the four men turned up at the temple again and were tolerated for a while, but as Junior Collins was discussing his music venture trouble flared up with the four men and they were asked to leave but refused and there was a row. After a heated exchange the men left the Tabernacle and went outside, but soon after several shots were fired through the door. Junior Collins was shot in the back and it was thought that he died instantly. Another person had a bullet pass through his clothing but it missed his body.

A man that arrived at the Tabernacle almost immediately after the four men left said that he saw a group of men standing in the road by a car just outside the temple. The man said that as he was going in he saw Junior Collins just inside chatting with a group in the hallway. He said that as he passed them he heard Junior Collins say, 'Those guys don't have any respect for Rasta people', and then, as he was walking down the hallway, he heard shots fired. Five shots were fired.

After the shooting, it was heard that the men ran off, two of them leaving in a white Mercedes car that was seen to speed off and another running into a local cab office. However, it was heard that after he was refused a cab he got a No. 159 bus to a girlfriend's house in Tulse Hill.

It was heard that a police car was at about the same time driving into St Agnes Place and an ambulance was called.

When Junior Collins was examined he was found to have no pulse and it was thought that he might have been dead before he hit the ground.

Another man said that when he heard the shots, he looked out of his window and saw one of the men firing a gun.

The police said that the gun was never found but after examining the bullet fragments determined that the gun used had been a Russian-made Tokarev pistol.

It was also heard that another firearm had been used to fire back at the men from the temple. They said that the second firearm had been fired from the temple's front garden as the group ran off.

The court also heard a recording of a 999 call in which gunfire could be heard in the background. Nearby residents that heard the shots said that it sounded like a gun battle. The court heard that as the gun fire went on, all the people in the temple rushed to the back door in order to escape.

The Tabernacle was said to have been the headquarters of the religious movement in the United Kingdom.

Two of the four men tried were convicted of possessing a firearm with intent to endanger life and sentenced to five years' imprisonment each, but no one was convicted for Junior Collins's murder.

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